Emergency situations are alarming enough when you are at home, but it can be truly scary when illness or tragedy strikes in unfamiliar surroundings. Sadly, emergencies happen even while traveling. Visitors to Baltimore can rest assured that the city is home to many acclaimed hospital emergency rooms and urgent care centers. Access to excellent medical care is available throughout Baltimore.
If you are in a vehicle accident or the victim of a crime, the city’s police force and first responders are a 911 call away. Although rare, serious weather events may strike during your stay in Baltimore. Follow the steps provided below to deal with weather emergencies and other serious situations that may happen while you are traveling.
Preparing for Medical Emergencies
The best time to prepare for potential medical emergencies is before you ever leave home, especially if you suffer from any chronic health conditions. Make sure you take your health insurance card and if you need to purchase travel medical insurance, do so well in advance of your travel date. Leave room in your travel budget for hospital copayments, prescriptions or other medical expenses. Or, carry a credit card just for emergency purposes.
Be sure to leave a detailed travel itinerary with a relative or trusted friend back home, and keep a list of emergency contacts in your wallet, passport or an unlocked section of your cell phone. One easy way to store medical documents is to scan them and save a copy on your phone. That way, you always have digital copy of insurance information or necessary medical records on hand.
Hospital emergency rooms are located throughout the city of Baltimore and should be utilized whenever you have a serious health concern or accident. If you are experiencing a sore throat, rash, gastrointestinal issues or other minor complaints, it is best to visit one of the urgent care centers listed below. If you need to call an ambulance, they will take you to the nearest ER. If you need to find an ER on your own, look on a map to find out which one is closest to you.
- MedStar Harbor Hospital – 3001 S. Hanover St., Baltimore – (410) 350-3200
- MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center – 9000 Franklin Square Dr., Baltimore – (443) 777-7000
- MedStar Union Memorial Hospital – 201 E. University Pkwy, Baltimore – (410) 554-2626
- Sinai Hospital Emergency Services – 2401 W. Belvedere Ave, Baltimore – (410) 601-8800
- Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center – 4940 Eastern Ave, Baltimore – (410) 550-0100
- Mercy Medical Center Emergency Services – 301 Saint Paul St, Baltimore – (410) 332-9477
Urgent Care Centers
The greater Baltimore area includes dozens of urgent care facilities that are ideal when common illness or simple injuries strike. Instead of waiting long hours to be seen at an ER, visit an urgent care center to receive treatment from a licensed doctor or physician’s assistant. Urgent care centers generally accept a wide range of health insurance plans.
Many of Baltimore’s urgent care centers are affiliated with local hospitals, such as the UMMC University Campus Urgent Care Center and Sinai Express Urgent Care. Other centers are managed by large urgent care chains that have several locations across the state. Major urgent care provider networks in Baltimore include the following:
- ChoiceOne – This network has over a dozen locations in Maryland, including Belvedere Square and Rotunda.
- ExpressCare – Four ExpressCare urgent care centers are in the Baltimore area, including one in Brooklyn Park and another near Sinai Hospital.
- Minute Clinic – Often located inside CVS drugstores, Minute Clinic currently has two locations in Baltimore. One is near Canton/Canton Park and the other is near Little Italy.
Note that while RediClinic locations still show up on many internet maps, the company no longer offers urgent care services in Maryland.
The City of Baltimore’s Department of Public Safety & Law provides police, fire, criminal justice and emergency management services throughout the city. You may need to contact the department to resolve a traffic or parking ticket, report a crime or get instructions during a state of emergency.
If you are the victim of a mugging, assault or other crime during your stay in Baltimore, you should file a police report through the police department’s website. If you called 911 and the Baltimore City fire or police department investigated your incident, or you were treated/transported to a hospital, a report will already be on file. If you would like to obtain a copy of an incident report, you may request one for a $25 fee. Baltimore’s public safety non-emergency number is 311.
Your vehicle may be towed if you receive a ticket for illegal parking in Baltimore. If you return to your vehicle after a long day or evening out and find it missing, call 311 or (410) 396-9985. They can tell you if it was towed to an impound lot and provide instructions on how to get it back.
Although Baltimore’s climate is generally safe from severe weather, a state of emergency could be issued during your time in Baltimore. Possible weather emergencies include a wintertime blizzard, spring tornado or summertime hurricane/tropical storm. It is important to stay informed of the local weather forecast each day because serious weather situations can evolve quickly. In the event of an impending weather emergency:
- Stay tuned to local news sources via radio, TV and social media.
- Keep phones, laptops and other devices charged.
- Use an emergency alert app on your phone to wake you if a storm hits in the middle of the night.
- Carefully follow any official instructions to stay in place, seek cover or evacuate.
- If you stay at your lodging during the storm, do not venture out again until government officials announce that it is safe to do so.
- If you must evacuate quickly, be sure to take your ID, health insurance card, credit cards, cash and other valuables—and make sure each member of your family or travel group does the same.
- When evacuating, notify the hotel and your relatives back home of your new location as soon as it is safe to do so. If you are from another country, you may need to contact your embassy to get help with traveling back home.